Warriors

Warriors' Steph Curry explains rationale behind Howard golf donation

Warriors' Steph Curry explains rationale behind Howard golf donation

Warriors star Steph Curry simply was visiting Howard University to attend a screening of a documentary he was an executive producer for called "Emanuel," which focused on the horrific 2015 shooting of nine Black worshipers by a white supremacist inside a Charleston, South Carolina church.

But a single conversation with a Howard student ended up leading to Curry making a donation allowing the school to create a Division I men's and women's golf program, beginning with the 2020-21 academic year.

The amount of Curry's donation wasn't disclosed by the University, but it is expected to support several scholarships, hire a coach and fund the initial recruiting process. One student in particular, Otis Ferguson IV, sparked the idea in Curry's head after the two spoke about Ferguson's hopes of Howard creating a club golf program.

"He told me how much golf means to him," Curry told reporters after the first round of the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe. "The idea came just from that. I heard what he had to say and I was like 'What can we do to bring that Division I program back?' Men's and Women's, and create scholarships, because we know how great the game of golf is, wanting to continue to create access and opportunity, not just playing but also in the business of golf."

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The coronavirus pandemic could have some disastrous impacts on Division I athletic departments over the next few years, but it doesn't sound like Curry's donation is going anywhere.

The recent groundswell of support for the Black Lives Matter movement has brought national attention to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which never have had the same kind of competitive football and men's basketball programs as their other Division I counterparts. Five-star prep basketball prospect Makur Maker committed to Howard's men's basketball program on July 3, which could be just the beginning of a trend of elite prep athletes choosing HBCUs for all sports, not just basketball.

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Curry's obsession with golf has been well documented throughout his NBA career. He and former teammate Andre Iguodala famously would sneak away during playoff series to get 18 holes in, whether they were at home or in another market. Iguodala recently said he bet a lump sum on Curry to beat the field in Lake Tahoe this weekend at the ACC.

The two-time NBA MVP finished Friday's first-round in 14th place, with 14 points (ACC utilizes golf's Stableford scoring system). Considering Steph's father Dell Curry stood ahead of him in the standings going into Saturday's second round, expect Curry to come out motivated at Edgewood Tahoe South.

Damian Lillard, Dwyane Wade congratulate Steph Curry on Under Armour brand

Damian Lillard, Dwyane Wade congratulate Steph Curry on Under Armour brand

To quote the legendary Ron Burgundy: Steph Curry is kind of a big deal at Under Armour.

So it makes perfect sense why the Warriors superstar soon will "have his own brand under the umbrella of Under Armour, just like how Michael Jordan has his Jordan Brand at Nike," as Let's Go Warriors recently reported.

And when Bleacher Report posted about the news to Instagram on Monday, prominent members of the basketball world paid tribute to the two-time NBA MVP.

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Dwyane Wade: "Welcome to the 'own' brand club."

Damian Lillard: "Love it."

Bradley Beal: "(three fire emojis)."

How long has this "own brand" thing been in the works?

Julie Creswell and Kevin Draper of The New York Times revealed some very important details in late January.

In the summer of 2018, two top Under Armour executives traveled to the West Coast on a critical mission. Kevin Plank, the sports apparel company’s founder and chief executive, and Patrik Frisk, its president and chief operating officer, needed to persuade Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors star and the company’s highest-profile endorser, not to leave the brand.

Mr. Plank was unhappy that Mr. Curry, whose endorsement deal pays him millions of dollars a year, would rarely wear Under Armour clothing to N.B.A. games. Mr. Curry was upset that sales of the signature Curry 3 shoe had been weak.

At the meeting, participants found a solution that would showcase just how much Mr. Curry meant to the company. Mr. Plank and Mr. Frisk agreed to build a separate business around him, one reminiscent of what Nike had done for Michael Jordan two decades before. The company brought on the former executive who had overseen the creation of the Jordan brand at Nike to run the Curry brand and promised Mr. Curry much more involvement in the development of his shoes. Mr. Curry decided to remain, and a crisis was averted.

Curry's contract with Under Armour runs through 2024, and is worth a reported $20 million annually.

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NBA rumors: Draft lottery will be virtual for Warriors, other 13 teams

NBA rumors: Draft lottery will be virtual for Warriors, other 13 teams

Some details surrounding the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery -- which will be held Aug. 20 -- finally emerged Monday afternoon.

It will be a virtual event with all 14 team representatives showing up on a virtual display, sources told The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Who will be the Warriors' official? It's unclear if the franchise has come to a conclusion.

"We haven't decided that yet, but we got some interesting ideas," owner Joe Lacob said in late February. "We've got some outside-the-box picks. I don't want to blow it.

"It's actually really fun. Some are four-legged animals (laughter)."

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It's fair to assume that the coronavirus pandemic has altered Golden State's decision-making process.

The Warriors -- along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves -- have the best odds (14 percent) of landing the No. 1 overall pick.

[RELATED: Why Bazemore-Warriors reunion in free agency makes sense]

Golden State has a 13.4 percent chance of ending up at No. 2, a 12.7 percent chance of No. 3, a 12 percent chance of winding up at No. 4 and there's a 47.9 percent chance they fall all the way to No. 5.

The Dubs haven't been in the lottery since 2012, when they took Harrison Barnes with the seventh overall pick.

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